Trenton -- Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland announced Wednesday that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will hold a wind energy auction on Feb. 23 for more than 480,000 acres in the New York Bight. This will be the first offshore wind energy auction under the Biden administration.
The auction will allow offshore wind developers to bid on six lease areas – the most areas ever offered in a single auction, according to BOEM’s Final Sale Notice. Leases offered in this sale, which are located off the Jersey Shore, ranging from off Sandy Hook to Long Beach Island and could be as far out on the Outer Continental Shelf as 70 miles off the coastline, could result in 5.6 to 7 gigawatts of offshore wind energy. That would be enough energy to power more than 2 million homes. As offshore wind technology continues to advance, these areas will create the potential for clean renewable offshore wind power close to the energy demands of the greater New Jersey region.
Secretary Haaland was joined by New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and New York Gov. Kathy Hochul in outlining their shared vision for developing a robust offshore wind domestic supply chain that will deliver benefits to residents, including underserved communities, in New Jersey and New York and the surrounding region.
Environment New Jersey Research & Policy Center Director Doug O’Malley issued the following statement on the announcement:
“New Jersey has long led the nation on offshore wind initiatives and is now poised to expand its role. The potential this clean energy goldmine off the Jersey Shore provides could be a game changer. Unlocking this swath of area in the New York Bight is pivotal to not only reaching Gov. Murphy’s goal of 7,500 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035 but also going beyond that. We have more than enough wind blowing off the Jersey Shore to meet our current and future electricity needs, and we should be thinking big on how to power our state with clean energy to meet the 50% renewable energy by 2030 mandate.
“Clean, renewable energy is the solution our state and country desperately needs. As extreme weather events become more common and our coastline becomes ever more vulnerable, it’s clear the time is now to turn away from fossil fuels and towards the promise of offshore wind. With the potential to power 2.6 million homes here in the Garden State, these lease areas stand to revolutionize how New Jerseyans get their power. This collaboration aims to serve as a model for future engagement and continues to cement the reality that the United States – and New Jersey – needs to lead on offshore wind to mitigate climate change’s impacts. We urge the Murphy Aadministration to build on this collaboration, and continue its leadership making New Jersey the national leader on offshore wind.”